New Members are Welcome
Is it for ego, or to make a difference (save lives)? SAR is serious work. Being a SAR responder requires more than “hanging out” with the team and wearing the gear.
You will be expected to be prepared and to maintain a state of readiness. SAR is not a hobby. Yes you are a volunteer, but you are expected to be able to perform when called. Once you join a SAR organization, you are looked at as a “non-paid professional”. You are expected to be proficient and competent.
In addition to weekly team training, there will be time commitments for instruction/courses, individual exercises and training, personal dog training (minimum 1 hour per day), and other SARDAA events or duties.
SARDAA is volunteer based and run organization, everyone is expected to help out.
You must be willing to be part of a team. Being a good team member involves helping other members, not assigning blame, learning from mistakes, accepting constructive criticism, following instruction, etc.
Members are expected to take on additional roles and responsibilities in order to grow the organization.
Although we do hold team training sessions and courses, much of your training and practice (field techs, handlers and dogs) will be done on your own or with other team members. You must be able to follow instruction and be motivated to train and practice independently using those instructions.
Yes, there will be costs involved. SARDAA provides uniforms, some equipment, as well as training. However, you will be purchasing and maintaining your personal outdoor clothing, equipment and supplies plus transportation costs including fuel. Team members assume many of the costs related to training, equipment, maintenance and up-keep for themselves and their dogs.
Recognize your own capabilities, limitations and weaknesses and be willing to communicate them to fellow SAR responders. Meanwhile, develop your capabilities. Expand your abilities through experience, training, exercises and drills. Always seek to improve; learn from mistakes.
You will be expected to abide by SARDAA’s health and safety program, SAR’s safety guidelines and to “always be aware”. SAR requires constant risk assessment. Yes, you are working for the missing person(s) or the identified victim in need of help, but your safety, and the safety of your team members, comes first.
On average it takes 14-18 months to gain Field Tech certification and approximately 2 years to certify a dog.
No. Not everyone will be able to maintain proficiencies, training, responsibilities, etc. after joining. Dogs, if they pass the initial screening, may not pass testing (at any of the following stages).
SARDAA has a responsibility to turn out competent and trained members and dogs. Joining does not guarantee that you will remain a member or end up being an Active search member.